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Intracerebroventricular administration of Cystatin C ameliorates disease in SOD1-linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mice.

Journal of neurochemistry | Dec 29, 2017

Cystatin C (CysC) is a major protein component of Bunina bodies, which are a pathological hallmark observed in the remaining motor neurons of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dominant mutations in the SOD1 gene, encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), are causative for a subset of inherited ALS cases. Our previous study showed that CysC exerts a neuroprotective effect against mutant SOD1-mediated toxicity in vitro; however, in vivo evidence of the beneficial effects mediated by CysC remains obscure. Here we examined the therapeutic potential of recombinant human CysC in vivo using a mouse model of ALS in which the ALS-linked mutated SOD1 gene is expressed (SOD1G93A mice). Intracerebroventricular administration of CysC during the early symptomatic SOD1G93A mice extended their survival times. Administered CysC was predominantly distributed in ventral horn neurons including motor neurons, and induced autophagy through AMP-activated kinase activation to reduce the amount of insoluble mutant SOD1 species. Moreover, PGC-1α, a disease modifier of ALS, was restored by CysC through AMP-activated kinase activation. Finally, the administration of CysC also promoted aggregation of CysC in motor neurons, which is similar to Bunina bodies. Taken together, our findings suggest that CysC represents a promising therapeutic candidate for ALS.

Pubmed ID: 29282717 RIS Download

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